OPINION: The Author of the New York Times Op-Ed Made a “Fatal” Mistake
The White House is playing a massive blame game in the wake of a fiery Op-Ed published by the New York Times. The article is allegedly from an anonymous Trump official, and the president is having none of it. Many of his core administration members, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, have sent in letters to Donald Trump denying they wrote the letter.
Top officials are demanding that the informant hands in their resignation. Trump has even told members of his administration he is requesting to polygraph the entire staff, and with all due respect Mr. President, that is plainly brainless. Polygraphing has been denounced by the FBI as a form of truth-telling, as well as multiple psychological studies discovering that not only is manipulation of a polygraph possible, but it doesn’t always correctly determine the truth. However, I believe that this anonymous tell-all is being given much more attention than it should be based upon two reasons.
First of all, many experts claim that the article could spark the invoking of the 25th Amendment. Not only does the 25th Amendment have a rare and specific use, but it does not apply to the current White House situation whatsoever. For a quick refresher on the Constitution here is the brief sections 25th Amendment provided by Cornell Law:
In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.
Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.
Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.
For any constitutional expert, you may notice that I omitted Section 4, which is actually the most crucial aspect of the Amendment relative to the Trump Administration. It is incredibly length, however, it basically states that the Vice President and the majority of the cabinet heads transmit a declaration to Congress announcing that the President is unable to perform executive duties. In that case, the President would be removed from office effective immediately.
However, the President can then send a message to Congress claiming that they are fully able to fulfill their duties. The coup can then send one final message, which would trigger a vote in Congress. If this is the only chance of Donald Trump being removed from office, the chances are so slim. The article written by the anonymous official should reaffirm the unlikeliness of this event. The Vice President would be the official in charge of the process of removal, and Mike Pence has assured the press on multiple occasions that his ties are solely with Trump. Even if Mike Pence were to betray Trump, it is unbelievably improbable that the majority of Trump’s key players would join Pence in what would be an unprecedented initiation of events.
Second of all, the article was written by one person, not a group, who didn’t even have the courage to disclose their name. The worst case is that it was a high ranking official, however, in all likeliness, it is probably a lower ranking member of the cabinet. And while Trump is definitely nervous about the threat of the informant, it is likely that the anonymous writer is pacing back and forth in their office.
If their name possibly gets out, their resignation is imminent, and the wrath of Donald Trump has proven to be possibly career-ending. The last two GOP members to criticize Trump are Bob Corker and Jeff Flake. Both have faced excruciating disapproval from the Trump Administration, and as a result, have been shunned and practically exiled from the GOP.
Now, imagine what would happen to someone who tried to deface the Trump Administration through an anonymous op-ed article with the New York Times?
Noah Giglietti is a lead contributor for The Daily Lead.